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African Development Bank Group seeks US support for $1.5 billion emergency food plan for Africa

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                            The president of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made a compelling case Wednesday for the United States to back the institution's .5 billion emergency food production plan.  The plan seeks to avert an impending food crisis in Africa caused by Russia's war in Ukraine.



Download audio (1): https://bit.ly/3yEpg6S

Download audio (2): https://bit.ly/3wb7vdW

The head of the Bank and a panel of witnesses testified about global food insecurity and the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Participants in the hearing included, among others others, Senators Chris Coons (Delaware), Lyndsey Graham (South Carolina), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), and Roy Blunt (Missouri).

Senator Coons, chairman of the Senate subcommittee, emphasized that the US must move quickly and provide sufficient funding.
African Development Bank Group seeks US support for  
                                                        
                            The president of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made a compelling case Wednesday for the United States to back the institution's .5 billion emergency food production plan.  The plan seeks to avert an impending food crisis in Africa caused by Russia's war in Ukraine.



Download audio (1): https://bit.ly/3yEpg6S

Download audio (2): https://bit.ly/3wb7vdW

The head of the Bank and a panel of witnesses testified about global food insecurity and the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Participants in the hearing included, among others others, Senators Chris Coons (Delaware), Lyndsey Graham (South Carolina), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), and Roy Blunt (Missouri).

Senator Coons, chairman of the Senate subcommittee, emphasized that the US must move quickly and provide sufficient funding.  .5 billion emergency food plan for Africa

The president of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, made a compelling case Wednesday for the United States to back the institution’s $1.5 billion emergency food production plan. The plan seeks to avert an impending food crisis in Africa caused by Russia‘s war in Ukraine.

Download audio (1): https://bit.ly/3yEpg6S

Download audio (2): https://bit.ly/3wb7vdW

The head of the Bank and a panel of witnesses testified about global food insecurity and the lingering impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Participants in the hearing included, among others others, Senators Chris Coons (Delaware), Lyndsey Graham (South Carolina), Dick Durbin (Illinois), Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), and Roy Blunt (Missouri).

Senator Coons, chairman of the Senate subcommittee, emphasized that the US must move quickly and provide sufficient funding. “We should be concerned and even alarmed by the growing food security crisis this war is causing for hundreds of millions beyond Eastern Europe,” he said. Senator Graham expressed his support for the establishment of a global fund for food security.

Speaking live via video link from Accra, Ghana, Adesina said the proposed Emergency Food Production Plan for Africa would result in the rapid production of 38 million tonnes of food across Africa over the next two years. “The African Development Bank, with her support, is prepared to meet this new challenge and others head-on,” she said.

The plan is based on supplying certified seeds of climate-adapted varieties to 20 million African farmers. With food supply disruption stemming from the RussiaUkraine war, Africa faces a shortage of at least 30 million metric tons of food, especially imported wheat, corn and soybeans from the two countries.

An African emergency food production plan

Adesina said that the African Development Bank would invest 1.3 billion dollars in the implementation of the plan. She called on the US to make up the financing balance. “With the support of the United States to close the $200 million funding gap, we can ensure the success of the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan,” she said.

The Africa Emergency Food Production Plan is currently before the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank for approval.

Testimony was also given by David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program and Ms. Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Executive Director of the non-governmental organization Mercy Corps.

McKenna said: “A perfect storm is leading to more global food insecurity, worse, much worse than previous food crises over the last decade.” He cited the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change as factors exacerbating current food insecurity.

Beasley said that food insecurity had already started to rise sharply before the war. He said that 135 million people were acutely food insecure before the start of the pandemic. “Covid arrives and that number went from 135 million to 276 million people marching towards starvation.”

Adesina stressed that the African Development Bank’s food production plan would encourage the production of nutritious food rather than just calories. “One of the things that we will support through this emergency food production plan is biofortified foods. Iron fortified sorghum. Nutritional supplementation is important,” she said.

The Bank president said the Bank was organizing meetings with international fertilizer companies to discuss ways to ensure that African farmers continue to have access to such inputs. “If we don’t solve the fertilizer problem, we can’t solve the food problem.

According to Adesina, the Africa Emergency Food Production Plan would have a long-term impact on Africa’s food productivity. The initiative “will drive structural changes in agriculture, to unlock the full potential of Africa to become a breadbasket for the world,” she said.

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